Steve Burke's Salmon and Steelhead Fly-Tying Guide
Leon's Hairy Caterpillar
Originated and Tied By Leon Guthrie

Leon's Hairy Caterpillar, Originated and Tied By Leon Guthrie
Name Leon's Hairy Caterpillar
Category Salmon and Trout Species
Hook TIEMCO TMC 300 Down Eye, Heavy Wire 6X Long, Bronze Size 6
Body MaterialsBlack Antron Body Wool, Chenille, Orange Floss, and Black 8/0 Thread
Hairy Plumes BuildThe making and mounting of the Caterpillars Hairy Plumes have 4 Stages of Making Them. First you take at least 2 feet of Black Antron Body Wool and place in a vice on your bench and twist the Antron with your fingers until the Antron is tight and then stretch and place the other end in another vice on your bench. Now using a cocktail stick put a drop of Super Glue on the Antron at each 1-1/2 inch intervals along the Antron and wait until this dries naturally ( Do not rub your fingers along the Antron in hope to dry the glue, this will only spread the glue within the fibres and you will have to start again). Once Dry remove the Antron from the vice and unravel the twists of the Antron and then you will see the Hairy Plumes Forming, Cut off each Hairy Plume leaving only 2mm of the area containing the hardened Super Glue (Use a Razor to make a clean cut not scissors)

Mounting the Caterpillar Hairy Plumes, First Prepare the hook shank by applying a thin coating of Epoxy Glue along the Hook Shank as this is important as the Super Glue takes easier to this that the bare shank. Now simply start applying each Hairy Plume along the top of the hook shank leaving a space the same width of the Chenille you are going to use later. This mounting may seem difficult at first but you will soon see that it only takes a tiny drop of super glue applied to the tip of each Hairy Plume and soon mounts straight on top of the hook shank., Once you have completed the top row of Plumes apply Epoxy Glue with a Cocktail Stick to each base of Hairy Plume. Now simply go to the next stage and apply the same along each side and keeping each Plume in line with the others. When complete finally cover the base of the plumes and hook shank with Epoxy Glue using another Cocktail Stick.

Now tie on your Chenille of your colour choice (The Chenille I have used on this particular one is alternate Black and Orange Chenille like a tigers tail) although you can also use Orange Fritz Material that also makes an excellent caterpillar. Wind your material between each space you have created with the Hairy Plumes and tie off near the hook eye. Then again using Tying Floss or thread of your colour choice build a fairly large head and cover first with super glue and finally Epoxy Glue to make the pattern robust and long lasting. Now finally to finish the pattern by giving it a Hair Cut! And trim al the Hairy Plumes to Length as in the Photo.

NoteThere are many Species and coloration of hairy caterpillars and this technique of building these has many variations of the same theme, there are for example many caterpillars that have Orange Hairs on the body and indeed many species of different coloured caterpillars. These however are excellent morsels that no Salmon or Trout can resist.

Leon's Instructions for Stages
Stage 1 | Stage 2 | Stage 3 | Stage 4 ]

This pattern was originated and tied by Leon Guthrie of Galashiels, Scotland. You can see more of his originals at The Flies of Leon Guthrie.